"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 This powerful verse was the inspiration for Thomas Chisholm (1866-1960) to pen the words to this great hymn in 1941. Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky. He received his education in a rural schoolhouse in the area, but they were dirt poor and he never got past an elementary school education. However, by the age of sixteen he was a teacher. Five years later, at the age of twenty-one, he was the associate editor of his hometown weekly newspaper, The Franklin Advocate. In 1893, Henry Clay Morrison, the founder of Asbury College and Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, held a revival meeting in Franklin and Chisholm attended and accepted Jesus Christ into his heart and life. Later, at Morrison's invitation, Chisholm moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became an editor for the Pentecostal Herald. In 1903, he became an ordained Methodist Minister. Sometime around 1903, he also married Katherine Hambright Vandevere. Due to ill health, Chisholm was only able to serve one year in the ministry. After leaving his ministry in Scottsville, Kentucky he and his wife relocated to Winona Lake, Indiana for the open air. After a time in Indiana, he then moved to Vineland, New Jersey where he sold insurance. He suffered from health issues the rest of his life and had periods of time when he was confined to bed and unable to work. But over the years more than eight hundred of his poems were published, and a number of these were set to music and have found their way into our hymn books. Great Is Thy Faithfulness is one of these. One of his lesser known works, this week's hymn choice, is based on Isaiah chapter 53. It didn't actually begin as a hymn, but as a short chorus. He sent it to gospel musician Merrill Dunlop, asking if he could write a tune for it. But Dunlop saw potential in the song to become a full-fledged hymn and asked the author to add some other stanzas. He did so, and Mr. Dunlop provided the tune. The hymn exalts Christ as our perfect Substitute, dying to pay our debt of sin. As we enter another Easter season, take time this week to meditate on these words which share again the great sacrifice that was made for our salvation. And don't forget the final verse of victory, "Millions, dead, now live again, myriads follow in His train! Victorious Lord, victorious Lord, Victorious Lord and coming King!" Hallelujah!
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He bore our sins in His body on the tree;
For our guilt He gave us peace,
From our bondage gave release,
And with His stripes, and with His stripes,
And with His stripes our souls are healed.
He was numbered among transgressors,
We did esteem Him forsaken by His God;
As our sacrifice He died,
That the law be satisfied,
And all our sin, and all our sin,
And all our sin was laid on Him.
We had wandered, we all had wandered
Far from the fold of "the Shepherd of the sheep";
But He sought us where we were,
On the mountains bleak and bare,
And bro't us home, and bro't us home,
And bro't us safely home to God.
Who can number His generation?
Who shall declare all the triumphs of His Cross?
Millions, dead, now live again,
Myriads follow in His train!
Victorious Lord, victorious Lord,
Victorious Lord and coming King!
Listen to it here by an orchestra and choir WOUNDED
Listen here as a solo TRANSGRESSIONS